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This paper introduces a new real-time traffic light recognition system for on-vehicle camera applications. This approach has been tested with good results in urban scenes. Thanks to the use of our generic "adaptive templates" it would be possible to recognize different kinds of traffic lights from various countries. Our approach is mainly based on a spot detection algorithm therefore able to detect lights from a high distance with the main advantage of being not so sensitive to motion blur and illumination variations. The detected spots together with other shape analysis form strong hypothesis we feed our adaptive templates matcher with. Even though it is still in progress, our system was validated in real conditions in our prototype vehicle and also using registered video sequences. We noticed a high rate of correctly recognized traffic lights and very few false alarms. Processing is performed in real-time on 640 times 480 images using a 2.9 GHz single core desktop computer.